I have not submitted any ban appeals within the past year and my only one dates back to 2019 which was about a CMP job ban that was lifted. I additionally had not applied for any whitelists or staff positions until now.
The sole ban I have been issued in the last 3 months was a temporary ban on April 24.
The ban was due to an EORG instance which flowed down from round-end shenanigans and a comic situation in which I broke two bottles on someone’s head. I knew what I was doing and thought it worth the ban, although I am definitely not a regular EORGer and it was before I had in mind to apply for a whitelist.
I am comfortable to say I possess the necessary knowledge, familiarity and common sense related to commanding and inspiring marines as well as fellow players. The several hundred of hours I have accumulated playing command positions like XO and SO have allowed me to become proficient in both micromanagement and in macro-organisation. In that amount of time, I have additionally become knowledgeable and familiar with the tools used to coordinate and assist the marines and have operated without issues within the parameters set by both IC and OOC guidelines. While I have rarely or not at all played in support departments such as security, medical or engineering, my experiences in round brought me to interact extensively with them and instinctively request their assistance if needed.
Roughly 40 hours at the time of writing this application.
5 hours or the bare minimum.
Booker Peralta as a character has through indoctrination come to believe in the ideals of the military like duty, respect, integrity and courage. The USCM which funded his education and shaped his early life also ingrained in him something that he until then had missed most, discipline. For these reasons, Booker additionally believes in loyalty and especially to the USCM without which he would not be the person he is today. Lastly, he is a pragmatic being, understanding that opportunities to rise are rare and should be taken. All this would lead him to accept promotions as they were offered and do his best in the execution of his office.
As mentioned in the story, a colonel came up short of a commanding officer in his division which had then been passing by Chinook. Be it sickness, death or various other reasons, the unexpected loss of personnel in such a position gave human resources a hard time. Booker who happened to be on the intelligence staff of Chinook and also one of the officers eligible for command suddenly saw a seat of commanding officer being thrust upon him or rather under his posterior.
I am precising it now since a councillor shared concerns to me about it earlier. Not a single sentence of the story I have written comes from ChatGPT or similar programs. I am no native english speaker and have not written stories since third grade in primary school. I also do not like using Google Docs here so sorry for the possible inconvenience. Thank you for reading!
Everyone is in ranks in dress uniform with the right hand raised. We are all on the neatly trimmed lawn of the Officer’s Academy in front of the main campus buildings. The sun has been hidden all afternoon behind the many clouds that presaged an incoming storm. A Brigadier General, the superintendant is standing on stage before the several formations of cadets. He is about to make us recite the Oath of Office that all officers must take during their commissioning process.
We were told oaths are taken to this day still with the right hand raised because the absence of this limb was sign of perjury in ancient times. This is what separates us from civilian employees and enlisted persons. Loyalty not to appointed or elected leaders but to a commonly decided-upon set of rules which guarantees the existence of governing bodies that serve their citizens.
As my voice disappears among those of dozens of other cadets also being sworn in at this very moment, I begin to reflect on what I have gone through to make it here. I could barely believe four hard and bizzare years of military training mixed with college were coming to an end. The officer leadership course and specialty training remained to be completed but I was certain it would seem much less longer and arduous than what had been until now. Like all of the other graduates, the USCM funded my education in exchange for half a decade or so of active service. My parents could have and did afford me the chance at obtaining a proper degree but the euphoria of college life got the better of me. I was then at the bottom of the abyss. I wanted so much to prove I was capable. Luckily, I was now finishing my bachelor’s and at no expenses of mine. What was less lucky was that Intelligence Analysis and Risk Assessment while selling dreams as a degree had little to no marketable value outside military and intelligence agencies. But like everyone else, I’d obtain my degree, do my time and quietly exit by the back door. Right?
The distant notion of abandoning the only way of life and people I had known for four years gave me a sudden pang in the heart. I was more familiar with and knew the men and women in these ranks better than my own family for some. I had trained and fought with and against each and every one of them. They were now about to be shipped off to schools accross the whole country. And so was I.
I finish climbing up a ladderwell to arrive in a cold and not so narrow passageway. Power conduits and atmosphere control pipes run above and below it as what must be structural reinforcements on the sides give the construction a robust look. This part of the ship is characteristic of the larger designs in the fleet. I head to the end of the hallway where I know are located airlocks leading to one of the hangars of USS Codell. I slow down at the sight of the heavy blast doors and think about what might be waiting for me behind.
Codell’s task group had been re-routed to perform the sweep of some backwater system in which was an abandoned Weyland-Yutani research outpost. This allowed me to witness firsthand what the money of the taxpayers was being used for. Protecting the Corporation’s junk among others or so I thought. Our ships had split up to cover the whole area while Codell entered orbit around the forest moon on which was located the small compound. The bridge had then called the intelligence desk requesting that the tactical intelligence officer prepare for deployment and report to the hangars alone. It was unusual for a First Lieutenant in intelligence to do groundwork and enlisted analysts were almost always brought along in such cases. But what worried me most was that no other details had been provided. Also that this intelligence officer was me.
The sound of airlocks opening pulls me back to the present as my commanding officer comes into view, a Lieutenant-Colonel who is seemingly having a disagreement with none other than the senior enlisted advisor of our force. Both men are middle-aged and of unremarkable stature. I manage to overhear parts of the discussion as I approach the apparently frustrated duo. “Were there any other way, I’d take it. But there isn’t. The surface’s uninhabited and we’ll be back by nightfall.” says the officer before turning back towards me. “Lieutenant, we’re taking Atlanta. Sergeant-Major will brief you on our way.”
Minutes passed and we were now heading to the outpost. Knowing atmospheric entries make for difficult conversations, I use the time left to inquire to the enlisted man seated in front of me about the circumstances that lead the colonel to pilot the dropship himself. There were indeed only the three of us in a spacecraft that could carry ten times that number. “Chinook want us to recover intel from the Weyland-Yutani facility. The flop being we have legal accords with them that prevent us from doing exactly that. We can’t get the military police in or any other officers because they’d sell us out immediately. Sir.” he says as he checks the loading of his revolver before holstering it again. Participating in such operation would be a hell of a story to tell. Or rather to keep to myself. But why take me, what made me stand out from the other officers? What could my presence possibly bring to the table on this kind of mission? I had been told so little and yet had no intention of failing in my duty. The Sergeant-Major continues without leaving me the opportunity to make known my concerns. “What’s precisely of interest to us is a bunch of hard drives in one of the housing units. We’ve a house number so our plan’s to land and find the location.”
And so we did. The sun was setting as we walked the hundred meters separating us from the settlement and our objective, the visibility high enough for us not to need flashlights. Had I not known this village to be on a foreign world, I could have believed it to be on Earth. Except for a few things that immediately stroke me upon landing. No animals or insects or even any wind could be heard. The herbs and trees were also all of the same varieties. A smell of terraformation. But why leave after having already undertaken what must have been colossal efforts to make the moon habitable? This is years of neglect which the vegetation took advantage of.
“Peralta, you stay here.” says my commanding officer before proceeding with the senior enlisted advisor through the fence and disappearing in the wooden lodging. It was no euphemism to say that the walk had been quiet but the silence became all the more real and oppressive now that I was alone outside. I rest my hand on my holstered M4A3 in my belt as I stare at the field of grass bordering the residences. It looks like the whole place is dead, stuck in time. The cheap set of some bad horror movie. I can’t remember since I last felt this uneasy. Calls for me to move inside finally make themselves heard and as I open the fence gate, the house becomes engulfed in colours. Nuances of yellow, orange and red are all my eyes can focus on while I am being pushed away from the place. My stomach is laying on the bare ground and my whole body is aching like it has just been dragged on several meters. My eyes open to let me see burns on my hands and face and in the background, the house burning. Or what is left of it, the roof is all but missing, the walls are falling apart and the surrounding fence has been reduced to a a pile of debris.
Through inhuman efforts, I manage to get up only to watch the fire carry on its work. Wait. They’re inside. Putting my hands in front of my face to shield me from both the heat and light, I rush towards the flames to find an entry in what was now no more than a giant furnace. I find none. They were surely dead. And I was not. Did it make it my fault? No, I knew that to be true. But could have I done something? As I watched the remains of the house continuing to burn, I realised the deaths of both my commanding officer and the senior enlisted advisor of our force had had little effect on me at least on a personal level. I barely knew them, why would the disappearance of their characters worry me when people die daily in all sorts of tragic ways. No, their passing meant something else, something much more solemn. I could have done nothing more yet I felt like I had failed the trust that had been put in me.
I eventually contacted Codell the same evening through Atlanta. The dropship on autopilot brought me back and a few days later, a pannel of superior officers and provosts from Chinook boarded us. The executive officer who had been aware of the colonel’s plan from the beginning confirmed everything I already knew. They did not tell me what happened to him. The infantry transfer I had asked for during my debriefing had been approved in the same meeting I had requested it. I needed to put it all behind me. It must have been the most quickly approved piece of paperwork this side of the galaxy. Was it a bribe for my silence or even a veiled threat? I had only been told that those events never happened. I would either way put feelings and memories aside and carry on like I had done so far. There was no future in the past. I was back at the same passageway all this began at with my effects in hand about to be sent off for most likely re-training. At least I hoped so.
The elevator’s double doors open. I check my service uniform’s tidiness in the cabin’s mirror one last time before heading out with my cover in hand. The receptionist, most likely some civilian employee and two military police agents on watch in the lobby all give me a nod which I return. I stop in front of a rather large and fancy wall-integrated digital screen on the side of the reception desk. It is displaying various security procedures as well as current times for a few different USCM commands. On Chinook 91 GSO Station, it is 0802 hours. Well fuck. I’m late. But it’s not like anyone’s watching. My becoming less formal was something I had noticed as the years passed by. Privilege of high office one could say.
I head for the hallway past the status display before halting at a pair of glass doors which soon open to let me access the operations room and main command center for the Herculis branch of the USCM. The area’s spaciousness is immediately countered by the ammount of noise and the crowd of personnel engaged in the execution of their duties. “Welcome, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence, Major Booker Peralta.” announces loudly the hall’s speakers suite in the neutral tone of a feminine voice. If anyone even noticed my entry in the room, they show nothing for it. And why would they, senior officers come and go every hour of the day in this place of relative luxury and high security. Immediately after the announcement of my arrival is broadcasted information about fleet deployments and the lastest intelligence. I was but a drop in a bucket of water.
I am about to move over to the surveillance section’s workstations, I am indeed not due to stand watch as Assistant Deputy Director of Operations for another ten hours, someone else is on it for the time being. This leaves me plenty of time to check up on my team here, go back to the intelligence office and even take a quick nap. But then something on the other end of the room catches my eyes. In one of the many office spaces separated by glass walls and surrounding the operations hall is an elderly man in service uniform as well. A Brigadier-General, the Deputy Chief of Staff for all matters regarding military intelligence in Herculis. My boss. And he is waving for me to approach.
I bump into a pair of officers that were also coincidentally heading into the same room I was. A Lieutenant-Colonel and another Major. But I’m in intelligence. There’s no such thing as coincidences. The general officer extends a hand to shake to the two new arrivals and finally myself while he makes some very brief introductions. “Gentlemen, this is Major Booker Peralta, he’s the top officer on my staff.” he says as the two nod in acknowledgment. The old man then turns toward me. “Peralta, I’ve been on call with both the colonel and Human Resources for the past two days. His division’s gotten an unexpected a vacancy. More precisely, we’re now missing a commanding officer for a patrol transport and need to find one before it leaves dock in a few hours. And you’re an irreplaceable member of my staff with previous experience as executive officer and trained in infantry tactics. I let you guess what comes next.” he continues.
That was unexpected. Were they testing me? No, why would they do this, it makes no sense. Headquarters knew I was more than capable of taking a command but they also knew I was not exactly on the job market right now. Seeing as I say nothing, the general keeps going. “The executive officer that should’ve succeeded to command has barely a few weeks on the job under his belt. There’s nothing to be done on that side. There’s also only so many officers qualified and available to take command at any time on Chinook. You’re the first of a short list of candidates we scrapped together. But it’s up to you.”
And there it is. I always knew he had been holding onto me since I joined his staff a few years back as a Captain. It feels good to be wanted. But this reeks of coercion. The Major General must have talked to him. He would not have given me up had there been any other option. And then it had never really been up to me either. I was now competing with officers who had all sat in the big chair at some point and I had not. I would have almost no chance at rising further without obtaining my own command. And one was just being offered to me now. Some would call it the natural career process for officers that have shown aptitude. But I knew what it was. My one chance.
Doubt then invaded my mind. Was field command even for me anymore? A fraction of myself thought it could not be too bad being stuck on on the intelligence staff of Chinook until retirement. It was quickly silenced.
Regulations specify pardoning a prisoner would be appropriate if it was believed to be in the best interests of the mission. Having myself witnessed the shortcomings of Marine Law, I would also pardon a prisoner in such cases where remorse was shown and no intent to commit a crime was exhibited.
1 - One of the only hospital corpsmen broke into medical before deployment to acquire equipment because no doctor or nurse were on manifest. He additionally asked several times if he could do so on comms but obtained no answer. I would pardon the corpsman since his presence on the battlefield could prove decisive and the actions he took were for the good of the operation and thought-through.
2 - A specialist at briefing helped a rifleman stand up after he had been tazed. The shot came from outside the screen range of the specialist and it was only then that the military police agent whose taser fired came into view of the specialist. The chief of military police who witnessed the whole scene had the specialist arrested for minor interference even though he explained he thought the taser shot to have been a lost discharge. Having myself also witnessed the scene, I would pardon the specialist as his presence could once again prove vital and he demonstrated no intent to break the law.
3 - The operation was going poorly and most of the enlisted leadership had then been culled by xenomorphs. The last competent squad leader was arrested shipside during his passage through medical for disrespecting a superior officer. He displayed no regret when spoken to and kept on uttering profanities to the military police agents including the chief of military police. I would not pardon the squad leader as he showed no remorse and I was most certain he would carry on his swearing once released which would make me responsible for him.
Performing a Battlefield Execution would be appropriate in such cases where human lives, critical material or the integrity of the operation and command are in jeopardy. Or so says the rulebook. I play a character that values the rule of law and human life but without being a pacifist either. I am also a player who does not enjoy removing others from the round. These points would ideally lead me to restricting further the circumstances in which I would perform Battlefield Executions to a specific type of cases: Where military police reponse would be untimely or inefficient.
1 - A marine has begun shooting down command personnel in my presence, the military police department is adequately staffed and responsive. While this goes against the many instances of Battlefield Execution I have seen happen during my years on Colonial Marines, I would not execute that marine. Guidelines state that the commanding officer may take on military police duties in emergency situations, that military police agents may be authorised to use lethal means to disable and secure dangerous individuals if no non-lethal gear is available to them, and that commanders may authorise lethal force against individuals who have made use of lethal weaponry against personnel. Taking the previous clauses and circumstances into account, I would fire upon the marine until he can no longer present any harm. This would permit further roleplay to happen after the marine is revived and in custody, assuming the player committed a minor rulebreak such as improper escalation and that he be allowed to remain in round. Otherwise no luck and I just wasted an opportunity to use the fancy Mateba on a griefer but it is a risk I would have taken.
2 - A squad leader has been openly insubordinate on comms. He has announced intent to deviate from orders for no apparent good reason and has called for my directives to be ignored while I am deployed and a few tiles away from him. Assuming that attempts to clear this up have been made and knowing that a military police response would be too late to prevent the harm the squad leader would inflict upon the marine formation, I would execute him for representing a threat to both the operation and my command. I would additionally ahelp the squad leader’s player since it is a role bound to obey reasonable orders by servers rules.
3 - A marine has been disrupting a briefing in hangar to which I am attending with no military police agents on manifest. He has been calling me names and intermittently shoving me even though he had been ordered to cease on several occasions. I would execute the marine for disrupting operations and preventing the execution of my duties. What I believe to be a critical point in this scenario is the military police response or rather lack of. Had the military police quickly and efficiently intervened to prevent the marine from hindering my capabilities for leadership, I would not have executed him. Had the military police response been inefficient at dealing with the marine, I would have executed him all the same.